For awhile now I have been following in the news a group called the “intactivists” who are attempting to ban circumcision in San Francisco. The group claims that no one, but the owner of the penis has a right to cut it off. Man was born perfect, they argue, and no one has the right to cut off the foreskin. When the child comes of age at 18, he can then choose to be circumcised. The group is likening male circumcision to female circumcision, and is claiming that it is a barbaric custom that is unethical. The group has succeeded in getting enough votes that the “circumcision ban” will be placed on the next Municipal Election Ballot. However, interesting enough as this topic is, as I could also write an entire blog ranting against these ideas, the topic of my blog is about a product of the campaign to convince San Franciscans to vote in favor of the ban.
I don’t believe the ban is antisemetic, definitely it infringes on religious freedom, but i don’t believe intrinsically it’s antisemetic, although perhaps anti-religious. This was until the campaign came out with “Foreskin Man”, a superhero that so far features in two comic books, that is meant to “enlighten” the public on the dangers of circumsion. So what does he do? He protects babies from the “monster mohel”. That’s right, Foreskin Man, a blond hair blue eyed man, goes around saving innocent babies from the evil Jew, who is represented pretty similarly to Nazi Germany’s depictions of Jews in the 1930s and 40s.
But where the comic book gets real interesting is its use of old blood libel accusations on Jews. Blood libel accusations, which came in all shapes and sizes in the Middle Ages, basically accused Jews of needing blood (generally Christian child blood) for sacrificial and religious purposes. In panel 36 of the comic book, the Aryan hero overhears the Mohel say: “And thank thee, O Lord, for the Joyous Metzitzah b’peh for which I am about to partake”, and then in panel 46, after the Monster Mohel is defeated by Foreskin Man, he says, “I’ll just keep coming back until his foreskin is mine”.
Metzitzah b’peh, a controversial form of Circumcision, where the Mohel sucks the blood out, in order to stop excess bleeding or infection, is not a common practice amongst Jews today or for a very long time. (A tube is used in common practice) Yet the choice to include it in the comic book, aside from being deceitful and unfair, not only makes a point against circumcision, but discriminates against Jews. We are the bloodsucking nation, and the Mohel clearly needs that foreskin, because he will just keep coming back for it. Not to mention he is about to partake in it, suggesting enjoyment. It reallyis reminiscent of Medieval times when the Jews were accused of capturing Christian babies and using their blood for Matzah. Here we are in 2011, after the Holocaust and the debunking of such silly myths, and yet it reappears in a new modern form.
Perhaps I’m taking the comparison a little too far, but one thing I’m not taking too far is the antisemitsm manifested in the comic book. Read the comic book, and judge for yourself, are you as offended as me?